"We need Congress to enact a suite of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in testimony before Senate committees. The Government Accountability Office also suggests the White House cybersecurity coordinator develop an overarching strategy that integrates the executive order with existing cyber guidance.
Consumers should be allowed to unlock their mobile devices to switch carriers when their contracts expire, the White House said March 4. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski echoed the White House in a March 4 statement, saying the ban on unlocking "doesn't pass the common sense test."
The records of interactions between the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and special-interest groups are suspiciously sparse, the Center for Effective Government said Feb. 26. The advocacy group analyzed OIRA records for three agencies and found what it said is an implausibly small number of written comments and records of phone conversations.
Research institutions would have to implement internal oversight procedures, develop risk mitigation plans, establish review committees, educate and train researchers on threats, and report noncompliance.
The White House has published President Obama's current proposal to avoid sequestration, a plan which it says is still on the table. The plan, laid out in a Feb. 21 blog post , says it will achieve $1.76 trillion in new deficit reduction over a decade through spending reductions that save $930 billion, as well as an additional $200 billion on interest charges, and generate roughly $680 billion through changes to the tax code.
OSTP released Feb. 22 a memo (.pdf) directing agencies with annual extramural research and development budgets of more than $100 million to submit plans within the next 6 months for ensuring that the public can read, download and analyze in digital form without charge final manuscripts generally 12 months after publication in a professional journal. Individual agencies should use the 1 year period as a guideline but can tailor their plans as necessary, the memo says.
The White House has set out in a series of reports how the $85 billion sequester could affect citizens in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the rest of 2013. The White House reports , published Sunday, say Texas alone will have 52,000 civilian Defense Department employees furloughed.
Adoption of the cybersecurity framework called for by an executive order on cybersecurity signed by President Obama on Feb. 12 might not be voluntary for companies regulated by federal agencies with authority to require adoption--specifically those "agencies with responsibility for regulating the security of critical infrastructure," the executive order says.
The administration asserts that automatic cuts to education will eliminate 70,000 young children from Head Start, put 10,000 teacher jobs at risk, and potentially result in slashing funding for up to 7,200 special education teachers, aides, and staff. The White House also warns that if a sequester takes effect, up to 2,100 fewer food inspections could occur, putting families at risk and costing billions in lost food production.
The White House began accepting applications for the second round of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program Feb. 5. The fellowships, which last up to a year, bring in talent from the private sector to help the federal government innovate.